A Minimal Maintenance Garden With Maximum Impact

The challenge

Our clients, based in Leicester, wanted us to landscape their garden – transforming their open stretch of lawn into a stylish place to unwind with guests.

This was a blank canvas for us to work on with plenty of scope to introduce some exciting design features.

The concept

At present, the property had no patio to speak of, so that was a starting point for our design. Using Marshalls sandstone paving for the patio space and pathway, we dug to a depth of 150mm and lined the areas with geotextile weed membrane. New paving was then laid onto 50mm full mortar beds that not only provide a solid foundation; they will also prevent any movement of the paving.

Next, we grouted using an eco-fill resin compound, which is resistant to frost damage and will help stop weeds from growing up through the paving stones. An Aco channel drainage system was then installed around the house to capture surface water and prevent puddles forming on the patio and paths.

Concrete foundations were laid to an approximate depth of 300mm to give maximum strength to the new sleeper walling that we installed across the back of the garden. This helped us to create a flat lawn and provide more useable space for our clients.

We then built up the walls with concrete block work, edged with white beading and rendered using a monocouche render that’s already coloured and doesn’t require painting. This gave a stylish white motif to the garden design.

For the artificial lawn, we dug down to a depth of 100mm so that we could level and compact a 50mm layer of hardcore to give a solid foundation and provide additional drainage across the artificial turf. A 25-30mm layer of sharp sand was spread across the area and lined with geotextile membrane to prevent weeds growing up through the lawn.

The edging strips we used to flow around the artificial lawn and define its shape will also help make maintenance easy.

To give a focal point to the back of the garden, we installed a striking stainless-steel water feature blade with uplighting. This created a calming, relaxing atmosphere, and also made an extremely attractive addition to the long stretch of raised beds with their decorative new planting scheme.

To produce the right growing environment for our selection of low-maintenance plants, we introduced top soil and compost. The beds were now ready for the range of plants chosen specially to attract wildlife and provide colour and scent.

To finish, we designed a subtle lighting scheme that included ten spike lights to allow our clients to stay in their garden late into the night.

The conclusion

Transformed from a garden that had simply been laid to lawn, our clients could now enjoy relaxing evenings on their patio with a stunning backdrop of raised beds and an eye-catching water feature.

The other thing our clients love about their new garden is that it requires very little maintenance, yet is has plenty of interesting features and a planting scheme that will provide colour all year round.

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